The Strange Little Cat
PRODS Silvan Zürcher, Johanna Bergel
SCR/ED Ramon Zürcher
CAM Alexander Hasskerl
MUS Thee More Shallows
PROD CO Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin
This droll, remarkably controlled comedy chronicles one day in the life of a multigenerational family prepping a celebratory dinner in their cramped Berlin apartment. Buzzing with life and bouyed by the effervescence of its ensemble cast, it has catapulted young director Ramon Zürcher to the forefront of German cinema.
The first joke to quickly surface is the irony of the title—compared with siblings Karin and Simon, their parents and their little sister Clara (especially Clara), the cat is a paragon of normalcy. As breakfast is eaten, Clara (Mia Kasalo) displays her penchant for screaming, Mom (Jenny Schily) quietly flirts with the neighbour fixing the broken washing machine, doors open and close with the frequency of a bedroom farce and family members scramble hither and thither. Even material objects seem to take on near-magical properties… Putting the absurdities of daily life on display, the film assembles these seemingly unspectacular details and snippets into an exciting choreography of the quotidian that will leave audiences grinning at the film’s audacity and perfect execution.
"The 30-year-old Zürcher appears to be channelling the comic maestros of French cinema here, from Jacques Tati to Michel Gondry, with just a twist of François Ozon to keep the sweetness in check… This is minimalist filmmaking par excellence, a sunny delight from end to end."—Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter
Preceded By: Clear Blue Skies
DIR Anna Ogden-Smith / UK, 2013, 2 min.
An unsettling moment is caught on an iPhone as a plane is about to take off. Listen closely—the mystery deepens.